Recruit Roundup: Feb. 25

In this week’s Recruit Roundup, we have updates on the end of the season for Penn’s men’s basketball recruits Tony Bagtas, Dave Winfield Jr., Matt Howard and Dylan Jones. All four players’ high school careers came to a close this past week.

6’0 Guard Tony Bagtas: Westlake High School (Ga.) began its state tournament on Feb. 20 with an 81-76 victory over Rockdale County. With the Lions down 60-59 heading into the final quarter, Bagtas scored seven of his 18 points to lead Westlake’s comeback. But the Lions’ run in states came to a sudden end on Feb. 23, as Westlake lost to Tift County, 100-83. The Lions gave up an early 15-3 run and couldn’t recover from the early hole. Bagtas had 34 points to lead all scorers, which included Mr. Georgia Basketball and Tift County shooting guard Brannen Greene.

6’9 Center Dave Winfield Jr.: Harvard-Westlake High School’s season came to a close in the third round of the California Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs as the team lost 78-58 on Feb. 19 to Bishop Montgomery High School. Winfield finished the year with a solid showing, putting up six points on 3-for-5 shooting while grabbing six rebounds. The senior ended the season having averaged 5.9 points and 4.3 boards per game.

6’4 Guard Matt Howard: A.C Flora High School’s run in the South Carolina Class AAA upper-state basketball playoffs ended in the semifinals, as the Falcons lost 54-50 to Daniel High School on Feb. 19. Flora was winning after three quarters, but Daniel’s free throw shooting helped it pull away in the end. Howard led Flora with 16 points in the final game of his high school career.

6’7 Forward Dylan Jones: Jones and the Village School (Texas) finished the season with another blowout victory over a familiar foe. The squad faced off against Christian Home School Sports Ministries, a team the Vikings defeated by 36 on Feb. 6. In this meeting, Jones led all scorers with 24 points as the Vikings won handily, 101-57. The game was over early on, as the Village School led 31-9 after only one quarte

Recruit Roundup: Feb. 18

In this week’s Recruit Roundup, we have updates on Class of 2017 Penn men’s basketball recruits Dave Winfield, Jr., Matt Howard, Tony Bagtas and Dylan Jones. Each player’s high school began postseason play this past week.

6-foot-9 center Dave Winfield, Jr.: The Harvard-Westlake (Calif.) senior had one of his best weeks of the season, helping Harvard-Westlake win its first two playoff games. On Feb. 13, Winfield put up a season-high 16 points to help the eighth-seeded Wolverines to a blowout victory over Templeton High School, 77-46. He also added five rebounds while shooting 8-for-9 from the field. The Wolverines had to make a large trip to defeat Templeton, which is more than 200 miles away from Harvard-Westlake.

On Feb. 15, Harvard-Westlake returned home and defeated Laguna Beach, 73-60. Harvard-Westlake led the entire game after the first quarter, and Winfield provided 13 points along with five rebounds in the victory. Winfield’s squad now travels to No. 1-seeded Bishop Montgomery in the third round of the Southern Section California Division 4-AA Championships.

6-foot-4 guard Matt Howard: Howard’s A.C. Flora (S.C.) also won its first two playoff games last week. On Feb. 12, Flora escaped with a close victory against Travelers Rest High School, 68-63. Howard provided 17 points before his teammates closed out the game with free throws at the end. On Feb. 15, A.C. Flora defeated nearby Chapman High School, 81-68, behind 23 points from Howard. The victory puts A.C. Flora in the quarterfinals of the South Carolina Class AAA State basketball playoffs.

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Recruit Roundup: Feb. 11

Matt Howard scored a game-high 21 points Tuesday to lead A.C. Flora to a win in its regular-season finale.  (Courtesy of the Columbia Star/Careese Robinson)

Matt Howard scored a game-high 21 points Tuesday to lead A.C. Flora to a win in its regular-season finale. (Courtesy of the Columbia Star/Careese Robinson)

In this week’s Recruit Roundup, we have updates on Penn men’s basketball recruits Tony Bagtas, Matt Howard, Dave Winfield Jr. and Dylan Jones as each player’s high school nears the end of its regular season before playoffs begin in the coming weeks.

5-foot-11 Guard Tony Bagtas: Bagtas dominated on senior night for Westlake High School (Ga.), scoring 32 points to lead Westlake to a 71-53 victory on Feb. 8 over nearby Langston Hughes High School. Westlake moved to 21-4, including 9-1 in its region, as it heads into the regional tournament next week. After the game, Bagtas’ coach, Darron Rogers, had nothing but good things to say about the senior guard.

“Tony’s a four-year starter for us at point guard, and he’s our catalyst,” Rogers told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He can do it all. He’s going to Penn so you know he’s intelligent and has basketball smarts. He can score the basketball, but tonight I was glad to see him show his toughness, too. He went to the hole and made some tough baskets tonight.”

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Recruit Roundup: Feb. 5

In this week’s Recruit Roundup, we have updates on Penn’s men’s basketball recruits Matt Howard, Tony Bagtas, Dave Winfield Jr., Dylan Jones and Preston Troutt.


6-foot-4 guard Matt Howard: A.C. Flora High School (S.C.) played two games within their region (Region 4-3A) and won both this week. On Jan. 29, the senior hit two three pointers in the first five minutes of play and helped lead A.C. Flora to a nine-point victory over nearby Westwood High School, 51-42. He led the team with 16 points.

On Feb. 1, Howard finished with a game-high 23 points to help A.C. Flora defeat Lower Richland. Lower Richland is in first place in the region and had previously defeated A.C. Flora. A.C. Flora is now just one game behind Lower Richland and is assured of a spot in the postseason, as Flora has now clinched second place in Region 4-3A.


6-foot-0 guard Tony Bagtas: Bagtas, a senior at Westlake High School in Atlanta, Ga., has played well this season, with Westlake sporting a 20-4 record on the season. In back-to-back games a week and a half ago, Bagtas helped lead Westlake to two victories.

On Jan. 25, Bagtas had 29 points, 11 assists and two steals, which assisted Westlake in avenging one of its early season losses against Douglas County. The following day, Jan. 26, Bagtas scored 21 points to go with 9 assists and three steals, as Westlake defeated Tri-Cities High School.

Overall, Westlake has won 10 straight games, with nine of the 10 victories coming by double-digits.


6-foot-9 center Dave Winfield Jr.: Harvard-Westlake (Calif.) had three games last week and went 1-2 in the three contests. On Jan. 28, Winfield scored two points and had one rebound in a loss to Chaminade High School. Winfield followed that up with a seven point, five rebound performance during a victory over Alemany High School on Jan. 30.

On Feb. 1, Winfield had a solid outing with eight points and four rebounds in a loss against St. Francis. Winfield went 2-for-2 from the field while hitting all four of his free throw attempts.


6-foot-8 forward Dylan Jones: There was a death at the Village School (Texas) this past week and all games were canceled as a result. Their next scheduled game is Wednesday.


5-foot-11 guard Preston Troutt: The Trinity Christian (Texas) senior still has not played since mid-December due to injury and it is unclear when he will return.



Recruit Roundup – Jan. 28

We're excited to have a new segment on The Buzz called Recruit Roundup, in which we recap how each of the Penn men’s basketball recruits have done in their high school games recently.

This week, we have updates on Dave Winfield Jr., Matt Howard, Preston Troutt and Dylan Jones.

6-foot-9 center Dave Winfield Jr.: In the past two weeks, Winfield, a senior at the Harvard-Westlake school in Los Angeles, has played in five games. On Jan. 14, he scored two points while providing 10 rebounds, a season high, which helped Harvard-Westlake to victory. On Jan. 16, he added two points and two rebounds and on Jan. 21, he scored four points while posting five rebounds, including four offensive rebounds.

On Jan. 25, he had another strong performance as he had six points, six rebounds and was a perfect 3-3 from the field. In his most recent game, he contributed six points and three rebounds despite his team’s loss. Harvard-Westlake is 15-7 on the year and Winfield has played in 11 of those games, averaging 3.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.

6-foot-4 guard Matt Howard: Howard, a senior at A.C Flora in South Carolina, has played well on the season, especially recently. On Jan. 18, despite Flora losing by two in overtime, Howard put up 23 points. More recently, on Jan. 25, Howard helped Flora to a decisive victory over nearby Chapin by leading his team with 29 points.

Furthermore, the senior guard has been named as a nominee for a possible spot in April’s McDonald’s All-American game. The official 24-man roster will be announced on February 14.

6-foot-0 guard Preston Troutt: The Trinity Christian senior is currently dealing with an injury and hasn’t played since Dec. 18. Before his injury, he played in 11 games and averaged 15.9 points per game to lead his team. In addition, he also put in 2.8 rebounds per game and 2.5 assists per game. Coach Randy Feemster indicated that he would not be back soon from his injury.

6-foot-7 forward Dylan Jones: Jones, a senior at the Village School in Houston, Texas, has strung together three straight solid games over the past two weeks. On Jan. 15, Jones posted a double-double, with 14 points and 10 rebounds as his team won by 24 points. In his team’s 53-45 win over RCHA on Jan. 17, Jones had another strong performance with 10 points and 13 rebounds. In his most recent game, Jones put up 14 points and 20 rebounds in a 77-56 victory over Kelly Catholic.


Q & A with Penn basketball commit Matt Howard

Though Penn commit Matt Howard can finish at the rim with an emphatic dunk, his offensive prowess truly lies in his well-developed mid-range game and disciplined decision-making, according to ESPN. Perhaps his high basketball I.Q. should come as no surprise for a player with multiple AP courses under his belt. With his combination of athleticism, scoring ability and basketball intelligence, Howard attracted offers from Stanford and Virginia Tech, but ultimately chose to become a Penn Quaker. A day after a 84-58 blowout of Chapin High School by Howard and his teammates, I caught up with him to talk his decision to commit to Penn, the challenges of juggling school and basketball and highlights from his senior season. 

What were you looking for in a school during your college search and the recruiting process?

I was always looking for a good balance between good academics and a good basketball program, and I found that Penn.

Why, among all of the schools that you looked at, did you choose Penn?

I had the best relationship with the coaches, and it was probably my best visit that I went on too.

Do you have any connections to Philadelphia that drew you to a city?

My great-aunt used to live there . . . I have a grandparent in New York, so I passed through Philly a lot on my way there.

From what I’ve read obviously you’re doing pretty well on the basketball court, but you also have to be doing really well in the classroom to be able to come to Penn. Is it a challenge to balance your commitments to academics and basketball?

Yeah, all the time because when I’m tired from basketball I have to study for a test or something like that, but I think I have a pretty good balance between the two.

What are some of your favorite honors courses that you’ve taken?

BC Calculus and AP Physics are probably my favorite courses right now.

To talk a little bit about basketball now, tell me a little bit about senior season with A.C. Flora this year. Have you been pleased with the way the year’s gone and how you’re playing?

Yeah, I’m pretty pleased with how I’m playing right now. I’d like to have a few more wins — I think we’re 12-8 or something like that. But so far, this is my best season by far.

What are you hoping to improve upon even further as you prepare to play at the college level?

Just staying aggressive, my three-pointing shooting and being aggressive on the defensive end.

I saw a clip of a game-winning shot you had against Hillcrest back at the Chick-fil-A Classic in December. I was wondering if you could take me through that play and what your thinking was, if you can remember it.

On that play, there was like seven seconds left, so once I got it out of bounds, I just thought to get it down the court as quick as I could and then once I got it down the court I thought I’d do a fadeaway because I know nobody could block that. And it went in.

See the shot for yourself:

M. Hoops picks up its third commit

Jerome Allen and the rest of the Penn men's basketball team got a great commitment Wednesday night in Matt Howard. The shooting guard from Columbia, S.C. announced his decision on Twitter Wednesday evening:

He chose Penn over Harvard, Stanford and Virginia Tech. He visited Penn on the weekend of Oct. 5 and Harvard the weekend after.

ESPN scouted him as a 67 and said the 6-foot-4, 185-pounder listed him as the No. 6 recruit in the state and the No. 82 shooting guard in the country. Howard joins Tony Bagtas and Dave Winfield, Jr. in what will be Penn's Class of 2017.